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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 15 — Jul. 21, 2008
  • pp: 11574–11588

Higher harmonic generation microscopy of in vitro cultured mammal oocytes and embryos

Cho-Shuen Hsieh, Shee-Uan Chen, Yen-Wei Lee, Yu-Shih Yang, and Chi-Kuang Sun  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 15, pp. 11574-11588 (2008)

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Oocyte and embryo selection governs the success of assisted reproductive technologies. The imaging tools applied for selecting embryos may need to contain several key properties: noninvasiveness, high 3D resolution, and the contrast capability to provide as much information about the embryos as possible, such as spindle fibers, zona pellucida, and organelles. Currently adopted imaging techniques can only provide one or two of these desired properties and are with limited contrast of the embryos. Some image techniques can even damage the embryos. Previous studies have shown that harmonic generation microscopy (HGM), a virtual-transition based technology, can provide noninvasive imaging in zebrafish embryos with a sub-cellular 3D resolution and a millimeter penetration depth, and thus could be a suitable tool for future oocyte and embryo selection of assisted reproductive technologies. However to evaluate HGM in clinical use, the intrinsic contrast origin of the second harmonic generation (SHG) and third harmonic generation (THG) inside the mammal embryos has to be studied. In this work we performed HGM studies on the in vitro cultured mouse oocytes and embryos by combining the SHG and THG modalities, with a focus on the contrast origin evaluation. Through the noninvasive HGM imaging, we can clearly identify various structures in the whole oocytes and embryos, including spindle fibers, zona pellucida, polar bodies, cell membranes, and the laminated organelles in the cells. The origin of the THG contrast was further confirmed through the standard staining studies. Through SHG signals, we could not only observe the spindle fibers when the oocytes were arrested at metaphase II or during the cleavage of the embryos, but can also distinguish and analyze the thickness of the three layers of the zona pellucida. Combining two different higher-harmonic generation modalities, SHG and THG, HGM successfully revealed the subcellular structures of the whole mouse embryos with a high 3D spatial resolution.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(170.5810) Medical optics and biotechnology : Scanning microscopy
(170.6900) Medical optics and biotechnology : Three-dimensional microscopy

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: March 11, 2008
Revised Manuscript: May 17, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: June 13, 2008
Published: July 18, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 8 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Cho-Shuen Hsieh, Shee-Uan Chen, Yen-Wei Lee, Yu-Shih Yang, and Chi-Kuang Sun, "Higher harmonic generation microscopy of in vitro cultured mammal oocytes and embryos," Opt. Express 16, 11574-11588 (2008)

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